Friday, November 30, 2007

New Atlantic YouTuber

There`s a new YouTuber posting videos from Halifax. HFXRailfan joined in November and has posted several videos.

Here are links to a few of the videos:
CN 121 part 1
CN 121 part 2
VIA 15 leaving Moncton
CN 121 in Bedford, NS

VIA Time Capsule

On Wednesday November 28, a time capsule was buried at the VIA Rail train station in Halifax. I understand it was to be buried under platform #3.

The history of the Halifax train station was displayed in the station, then buried in the capsule.

The plan is to open the capsule in 50 years... I hope I will be around to see that!

Halifax Daily News article

Thursday, November 29, 2007

McAdam Documentary

I heard there will be a documentary about the restoration of the McAdam station on Rogers Television this Saturday, December 1 at 6:30 PM.

BACKTRACK: Restoring the McAdam Train Station is a documentary that focuses on the heroic efforts of the villagers of McAdam to save the McAdam Train Station.

The volunteers at McAdam have done a remarkable job restoring the station. They deserve congratulations for their work. The ground level is looking really good and much progress has been made.

BACKTRACK: Restoring the McAdam Train Station

Speaking of McAdam, here's one of Gary Lee's videos showing NBSR 9801 pulling a string of cars past the McAdam station.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two Perspectives

Gary Lee and Dave Dineen both taped the same train, NBSR 9802 East, from McAdam to Saint John on November 21. Gary caught it leaving McAdam and Dave picked it up at Vespra (near Tracy) and chased it to Westfield before night fell.

Here's Gary's clip showing NBSR 9802 and 2317 leaving McAdam.

The rest of the story is told here, in Dave's excellent video. Here is his description of the chase.

EDIT: Added link to Dave's commentary.

More YouTube videos

Gary Lee has been busy! First he caught rare footage of a Guilford unit at St. Stephen. Here's Maine Central (MEC) 307 pulling a train into Maine. There's another one here but the quality is unfortunately not good.

Here's a cab ride of NBSR 9801 going under a highway overpass near St. Stephen.

Check out the freight from Saturday November 17, with 4 locos and 8 freight cars!

Last but not least, here's a short clip of a video taken out the back of the Chaleur by clam502.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Surplus books for sale

I went through my train book library a little while ago, and identified some books that I will probably never read again. If you are interested in any of these books, please email me at or call me at (506) 455-9792. I am asking $10 each for the hardcovers, $5 each for the paperbacks. Shipping NOT included.
- Ghost Railways of Ontario (Volume 2), Ron Brown, paperback, very good condition. Very well researched.
- Lords of the Line, David Cruise and Alison Griffiths, hardcover, dust jacket torn. Never read it.
- The Great Book of Trains, Brian Hollingsworth and Arthur Cook, hardcover, good condition. Never read it.
- 100 Trains 100 Years, Fredric Winkowski and Frank D. Sullivan with Richard E. Mancini, hardcover, very good condition. Beautiful book.
- Living Steam, Anthony Lambert, hardcover, very good condition. Nice book.
- The Wonderful World of Steam Locomotives, P.B. Whitehouse, hardcover, fair condition. More European than North American.

Friday, November 23, 2007

CN 148/149 renumbered to 122/123

CN 148 (Chicago-Halifax) and 149 (Halifax-Chicago) have been renumbered to 122 and 123 (respectively) as of today. No word yet on whether they are renumbered all the way through, or just from Montreal east.

CN 122 used to be a Montreal to Moncton train, a "modular" (as required) train, and 123 was Moncton to Toronto. The last time I have CN 122 recorded was April 3, 2004 at Windsor Junction, with CN 2522 and 2675. The last CN 123 I recorded was April 20, 2002 with GCFX 6068 and CN 5330 leading 53 cars. There may have been some that were more recent that I did not hear about.

CN 148 at Milford, NS on October 26, 2002.

CN 149 at McGivney, NB on February 19, 2004.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kevin G's Photos from Saint John

Kevin G shared some photos he took in Saint John on November 12.

Here is NBSR 3701 and CN 7060 in the midst of the NBSR local train going out to the Irving Refinery / Irving Paper area.

Another shot of NBSR 3701 working her heart out.

CN 7060 doing the same:

This video of Kevin's shows the same scenes:

This is a shot of the new crossing on Bayside Drive by the old shipyard, to serve the new wallboard plant. The crossing is not yet in service but should be commissioned any day now.

Here is CN 5610 at the head of CN 405, at the south end of the Courtenay Bay causeway getting empty potash cars.

You can see the same scene in this video:

Thanks for sharing, Kevin!

VIA 15 video

This video shows VIA 15 at Milford from last Saturday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fredericton Railway Station, ajar

Nothing new to report on the Fredericton railway station. I haven't heard anything about the engineers' report, despite the email I sent to J.D. Irving back on November 13.

Meanwhile, it rots away:

Notice the open door in the freight shed, open since Halloween three weeks ago.

When will this door be closed? Before or after someone goes in and gets hurt?

UPDATE: I saw the door was closed this morning, November 22.

Another perspective of the trip to Halifax

Kevin G took VIA 14 to Halifax on November 17, and put the videos on YouTube.

First, here's VIA 14 (the Ocean) arriving at Moncton with 6413 and 6426.

This one shows them leaving Sackville, at Amherst, and meeting CN 407 at Oxford Junction (at 06:15 in the video).

This one shows the arrival in the Halifax area, including Folly Mountain, Windsor Junction, Rockingham Yard and the Halifax Ocean Terminal.

Finally, the last minute or so of his trip, including a walk up to the head end diesels 6413 and 6426.

Looks like you had a good trip, Kevin!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday Trains in Nova Scotia

I'm in Halifax this weekend, so the kids and I went out Saturday to see some trains. Fairview was empty but I saw a headlight at Rockingham at 9:45. It turned out to be CN 148 sitting at the yard office. It had 5736, 8827 and 4711. I had to hold my camera up over the fence to take this (poor) shot:

Oooh, shiny:

No sign of CN 120, so we went to the train show at the Dartmouth Sportsplex. I'll post photos of that later.

Later, we decided to go to Milford to see the stainless VIA 15. On our way through Bedford, we passed under a very late CN 120 at 12:45. I'm guessing their presence delayed 15's departure!

I set up at Milford and waited, while the sun peeked in and out of the clouds. A couple of other railfans showed up (hi David M and Steve D!) and we chatted while waiting for the train. Finally it rounded the bend at 13:33.

That was it for the day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

CN Videos

New YouTuber downeastrailfan put two videos up for our enjoyment. The first shows CN 306 rolling through Penobsquis, just outside Sussex.

The second shows shiny CN 4728 shunting the Truro Industrial Park. 4728 was recently repainted and looks good as new.

Finally, Jammin' Joel caught a CN local at Napadogan with CN 6021 pulling 20 cars.

Thanks, guys!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stainless steel back on the Ocean

Jean-Pierre Veilleux reported that VIA 14 at Charny, Quebec had 6431 and 6428 leading 10 stainless steel cars. I know several people who will be quite happy to see the old cars back again!

That means tomorrow's VIA 14 into Halifax will be stainless, and Sunday's VIA 15 will be stainless. I hope to see that VIA 15!

Stainless at Moncton, May 3 2006

Friday, November 09, 2007

Running Rights in New Brunswick?

Province wants railways to get on the same track in New Brunswick, November 9 2007.

The article quotes Doug Johnson, an assistant deputy minister for the provincial Department of Transportation, as saying the province intends to encourage CN to provide running rights for local short line companies, meaning the New Brunswick Southern Railway and the New Brunswick East Coast Railway.

The article goes on to Ian Simpson, general manger of New Brunswick Southern Railway. Mr. Simpson said that NBSR has a good relationship with CN but is always interested in more traffic.

My take? CN has historically shown little to no interest in running rights with shortlines, so this is likely a non-starter. That being said, there are advantages to the shortlines if this were to happen. NBEC is captive to CN at both ends of its line, so it has no real opportunity to ship by another carrier (read: CP). NBSR has the opportunity to ship through the U.S., and does so, but it could benefit from greater access to Nova Scotia traffic.

The big question is: what's in it for CN? As far as I can see, nothing at all. As the only mainline carrier in the Maritimes it gets all the long-haul traffic. Why would they give that up?

Mike's Train Blog and other things

A quick shout out to Mike's Train Blog, a new blog about... trains, by... Mike. He said a kind word about my site, so right back atcha!

I didn't know about Take a Model Train to Work Day, this coming Friday, November 16. I will be on the road to Halifax that day, so maybe I'll bring one to work on Thursday. Most people at work are already aware of my train obsession, so this won't surprise them. Heck, one person who met with CN gave me the CN 2008 calendar they were given. It`s done with CN employee photos - very nice indeed.

Just a quick note - I put the first few pages of the November 1, 1993 CN Employee Timetable for the Atlantic Region online. This is the last CN employee timetable that I own.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Annual Halifax Pilgrimage

Every year my wife goes to a conference in Halifax for her work, usually in November. This year it happens to line up with the Dartmouth Model Train Show on the weekend of November 17. I'll be there with my two youngest kids in tow, so if you see me, say hi!

Of course I will be taking pictures of trains too. If nothing else I will do my best to get VIA 15 leaving on Saturday and Sunday, and maybe I can persuade my wife that we need to catch VIA 15 somewhere on the road Friday afternoon. :)

VIA 15 leaving Halifax

See you there!?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another Fredericton railway station news item

But first, I understand the report from Irving's engineers on the Fredericton railway station is not due until at least mid-November. I hope it has some good news and that J.D. Irving will get started right away on preserving the station for the winter.

Now, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald weighed in on our station. Read the article

Two videos from Friday

Here are two of my videos from Friday, November 2.

The first video shows NBSR 2319 and 2610 shunting the east end of the Dever Road yard.

This video shows the NB Southern eastbound freight arriving at the Dever Road yard in Saint John.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saint John Friday

Quick notes...

Around 9:30 AM I saw CN 7000 shunting Island Yard. Here they are behind Crosby Molasses on Rothesay Avenue.

NBSR 9803 and, I think, an SW1200 were at the east end of Island Yard.

Just before noon, I saw shiny new SD70M-2 CN 8807 with CN 2625 at the wye near Island Yard. It appeared they had just finished turning on the wye, and they headed off to the Courtenay Bay potash terminal to get some empties.

Over at the Dever Road yard, NBSR 2319 and 2610 were drilling the east end of the yard.

Later, I saw NBSR 2318, 2612, and 9802 lead the eastbound into Saint John with 28 cars, about half of which were woodchip cars. This was at about 16:30. I hope to post that video later.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Acadian Railway update

Peter Swire sent this along to me on October 20.

"On October 1st, the railway was incorporated under the name "The Acadian
Railway Company Inc" and its French equivalent of "La Compagnie De Le Chemin
De Fer De l'Acadie Inc". The AAR reporting marks still need to be
determined. At some point, a domain name will also need to be secured and

"We are nearly finished the collection of shipping data from area shippers
which will gives us sufficient data to determine the economics of the line
as well as provide the shippers with some degree of certainty in rates. Our
potential carloads will be significantly greater than what was originally
determined. Most of the increase is due to the pending availability of rail
which when it is augmented with the low labour and occupancy costs in the
area makes it a win-win opportunity."

"Obviously, with the collapse of the US dollar, our US originated purchases
will cost substantially less with a possible $ 10 Million dollar savings."

"I expect the final business plan to be ready in about 45 days. A good part
of the plan will address the environmental and economic impacts of the